ADVANCED SAMPLER FOR ASSESSING EXPOSURE TO BIOLOGICAL AEROSOLS

Project Details

Description

 DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In this research, responding to PA-13-129 'Occupational Safety and Health Research (R01),' an advanced bioaerosol sampler prototype with very high concentration rate will be further developed and then used in occupational environments. In the new sampler, airborne particles are electrically charged and then deposited on a superhydrophobic surface from which they are removed by 20 µL liquid droplets. This allows concentrating the entire sample into one small droplet. A prototype sampler based on this approach was built and briefly tested in earlier research. Here it will be redesigned to achieve unprecedented sample concentration rates (to 1-2 million per minute) while allowing collection of four samples simultaneously. The new design will also improve preservation of culturability and DNA integrity of the collected microorganisms. The developed sampler will be used to assess exposures to bioaerosols in indoor office, hospital, industrial facilities, schools,agricultural environment as well as outdoors. Bioaerosol samples collected during the assessment will be analyzed by multiple methods to obtain a more comprehensive picture of bioaerosol exposures and also to evaluate compatibility of various analysis methods with the new sampling technology. Sampling in the field will range from 10 minutes to 4 hours, and performance of the new sampler will be compared to that of other samplers. Very high concentration rates will allow detecting exposures to even low microorganism concentrations and over a long time - features lacking in current bioaerosol samplers - thus improving our ability to identify the exposure risks and protect affected populations. This proposal responds to several NORA's Priority Research Agendas: National Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing; National Services; National Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities. Sampler's high concentration rate, plus its small footprint and low power requirements will make it easy to deploy for numerous applications not only for exposure assessment in occupational and residential environments, but also in Homeland security area. Future research will investigate application of this technology collect airborne viruses and nanoparticles.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/1/167/31/19

Funding

  • HHS (Department of Health and Human Services)

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